University of Wisconsin–Madison

3.06.15: Open Lab hours

Active Teaching Lab flask photoDuring Open Lab Hours at Active Teaching Lab, we took a breath and reconsidered the past three weeks — and all the topics and followup discussions that participants wanted to have, but didn’t have time for. We discussed ways to use various tools, technological and cultural challenges participants experience when trying out new tools and methods in their classrooms, and suggestions for future AT Lab sessions.

Some of the takeaways include:

  • Google+ in teaching space allows bridging real to virtual classroom. Giving participants +1 and comments on their posts helps them feel like they’re not just posting to a brick wall.
  • Having face-to-face discussions that are synchronously supplemented by online (G+ Community, Today’s Meet, Twitter, etc.) “backchannel” discussions help reinforce that “the discussion is taking place in this space.”
  • Good course design includes “way-finding” prompt for students (they’re more likely to engage if they know how/where). Sometimes one needs to lead a horse to water so they know where to drink.
  • We all have little tricks that we know, that others don’t know; and we can all benefit from seeing the tips and tricks that others use, that we hadn’t even considered. Look for more sessions where we crowd-source the sharing of tips and tricks!

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